Moving Saanich Forward will guide the district’s active transportation decisions over the next 30 years. A series of open houses will be held in Saanich over the next two weeks. (Saanich News file photo)

Saanich rolls out draft transportation plan

Open houses set for next two weeks across the community

Saanich has completed the draft for its first active transportation plan, Moving Saanich Forward.

Following nine months of public engagement, the Moving Saanich Forward team is now asking for feedback on the draft maps, strategies and actions that will guide plans for the next 30 years. More than 2,000 residents have been involved in the process to date, attending events, interacting on social media and completing surveys.

“The draft plan includes priorities for building new sidewalks and cycling facilities, as well as programs and partnerships to encourage more residents to use active travel modes,” said Harley Machielse, director of engineering. “The vision is that active transportation is a safe, convenient and enjoyable way to move around the District and is a common part of everyday life for residents and visitors.”

The draft plan outlines dozens of strategies and actions to achieve the district’s goal of doubling active transportation trips by 2036. Citizens and businesses are invited to learn more and provide feedback at one of three upcoming open houses or on the project’s website.

“This is a really important plan to develop, a 30-year plan for active transportation for all ages and abilities,” said Coun. Judy Brownoff, chair of the Planning, Transportation and Economic Development Committee. “We need to get as many people as possible coming out and giving their perspective. The plan will dictate the kind of investments that will be made in the long term.”

Open houses have been scheduled for Gordon Head Recreation Centre Oct. 24 from 4 to 7 p.m., Cedar Hill Recreation Centre Oct. 25 from 5 to 8 p.m., and Pearkes Recreation Centre Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The open houses provide an opportunity for residents to see the plan’s highlights and discuss the plan’s merits and gaps with the project team.

Once the draft plan is finalized, council will consider the report in early 2018. The final Active Transportation Plan will include policies and actions that will guide investments in active transportation infrastructure and support programs over the short and long term for residents of all ages and abilities.

For more information on the Moving Saanich Forward process or to get involved, visit saanich.ca/movingsaanichfwd.

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